Public History


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For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 ACC 201 - Introduction to Financial Accounting (3 cred.)

An introduction to the field of accounting with emphasis on corporate financial statements. Financial statements are viewed as a communication device conveying the financial health of a business to interested parties. The objective of this first course is to teach students to read, analyze, and interpret these financial statements. The emphasis is on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills using accounting concepts. Students are exposed to the steps used by accountants to record, measure, and process financial information. Cash flow analysis is contrasted with the accrual basis of accounting; the concepts of asset valuation and income measurement are discussed. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C." Prerequisites: completion of the College Mathematics Course Requirement with minimum grade of "C-", or instructor permission.

 ANTH 107 - Introduction to General Anthropology (3 cred.)

A general introduction to anthropology. All three sub-fields of modern anthropology:cultural anthropology (archaeology and ethnography), physical anthropology, and linguistics are covered.

 ANTH 219 - Archaeology (with laboratory) (4 cred.)

A study of the methods and theory of modern archaeology. The emphasis is on how archaeologists understand the past. A general chronology of world prehistory is presented. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: ANTH 107.

 ANTH 230 - Cultural Anthropology (4 cred.)

An exploration of ethnographic theory and methods, and a cross-cultural and comparative examination of societies studied by ethnographers. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: ANTH 107.

 ANTH 344 - Indians of North America (3 cred.)

A detailed look at the native people found in North America and their relationships to each other and the non-native settlers of North America. Several case studies are examined in depth. Prerequisite: ANTH 107 or instructor permission.

 ANTH 467 - Ethnography Field School (4 cred.)

A field experience in cultural anthropology in which students are immersed in the culture, traditions, and lifeways of a group of people, learning methods of inquiry and anthropological perspectives through hands-on experiences. This course may be taken for a maximum of eight credits. Prerequisite: ANTH 230 or instructor permission.

 ART 222 - Art History I (3 cred.)

A survey of western and non-western art from approximately 30,000 years ago to the 14th century. Works of art and architecture are examined within the cultural and historic context for art-making through world human history. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of ÒCÓ, and sophomore or higher status, or instructor permission.

 ART 223 - Art History II (3 cred.)

A survey of western and non-western art from approximately the 14th century to the present. Works of art and architecture are examined within the cultural and historic context for art-making through world human history. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of ÒCÓ, and sophomore or higher status, or instructor permission.

 ART 321 - American Art: Colonial to Modern (3 cred.)

A survey of the arts of America from the 17th century to the present. Emphasis is placed on uniquely American innovations and expressions, regional distinctions in American art, with a strong component in art of the American West; significant individual artists and trends; and the arts of the many diverse peoples that comprise America. Prerequisite: junior standing or instructor permission.

 ART 422 - Native American Art of North America (3 cred.)

A survey of the arts of the indigenous (First Nations) civilizations of North America, from antiquity to the present era. The art and architecture of these peoples and artists are examined contextually. Prerequisite: minimum junior standing or instructor permission.

 BUAD 210 - Legal Environment of Business (3 cred.)

Provides students an ability to sense the occasions when a lawyer should be consulted for guidance in avoiding legal mistakes. A study is made of the ordinary legal aspects of common business transactions, including the topics of social forces, contracts, personal property, and agency.

 BUAD 270 - Principles of Marketing (3 cred.)

An introduction to the fundamental concepts of marketing, including consumer demand and behavior, segmentation, advertising, marketing research, product development, distribution, pricing, the internet as a marketing agent, and global marketing issues. The student is exposed to the most basic tools, factors, and marketing principles administered by management in establishing policy, planning, and complex problem solving. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-" and completion of at least 24 credits; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 275 - Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship: Mindset (ICE: Mindset) (3 cred.)

The ICE mindset comprises the underlying beliefs and assumptions that drive the behavior enabling people to create positive change. This course takes the approach that anyone (not just those who want to start businesses) can benefit from understanding and applying an innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial mindset to any situation that demands change in their life. Students are immersed in learning about the fundamental aspects of an ICE mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide.

 BUAD 300 - Business Ethics (3 cred.)

A study of how ethics apply to business organizations today. Special emphasis is placed on developing moral reasoning. The course provides multiple perspectives on actual cases and ethical dilemmas faced by organizations with an emphasis on allowing students to think through ethical problems. Topics studied include moral philosophies, moral agency and development, ethical underpinnings of free markets and economic systems, and ethical concerns with the environment, future generations, and other stakeholders such as employees and consumers. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 309 or COTH 202; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 309 - Business Communication (3 cred.)

A study of the fundamentals, principles, and practices of effective written communication, including concepts of appearance, language, and psychology of tone and persuasiveness as applied to the business letter, memorandum, and report. Presentation skills are also discussed. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; sophomore standing.

 COM 205 - Communication Arts I (3 cred.)

This course is a study of the theory and associated terminology of visual communication including the application of concepts to film, theatre, and convergent media. Topics include aesthetics, design elements, mimesis, performance, semiotics and introduction to the primary techniques of the various communication arts. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 COM 231 - Technical Production I (4 cred.)

A study of how things are done behind the scenes in theatre and film and why they are done that way, including the basic customs and traditions of production work and the philosophy, aesthetics, and process of production. Intensive hands-on development of skills in the construction of sets, costumes, lights, sound, and props; the operation of rolling units, lights, flies, and sound; and production assistant duties.

 COM 305 - Communication Arts II (3 cred.)

An exploration of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of human communication, concentrating specifically on textual analysis and interpretation. Using a wide range of media, students will investigate how the particular method of communication informs, alters, and shapes the messages being consumed, and how those messages both constitute and affect self-expressive acts. PREREQUISITES: COM 205 and admission to the Communication Arts Program; or instructor permission.

 COM 323 - Media/Arts Management (3 cred.)

An introduction to the basic principles and structure of management as it applies to Communication Arts. Particular focus is given to management of small and mid-size nonprofit media and arts organizations, and to the interrelationship between those two areas. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

 COM 346 - Multimedia Communication (3 cred.)

An exploration of the theory and application of multimedia communication principles through projects that use common interactive multimedia, animation, non-linear editing, web authoring, and desktop-publishing programs. Prerequisites: COM 205, or instructor permission.

 CS 120 - Professional Computer Skills (3 cred.)

A comprehensive study of the essentials of software used by professionals, emphasizing applications of spreadsheets to fundamental data organization, presentation, analysis and decision making applications.

 CS 160 - Introduction to Web Design (3 cred.)

An introduction to creating web pages and sites with XHTML and CSS as well as using site building software and commercial plugin capabilities. This course is designed for students without a background in computer science.

 ENVS 100 - Introduction to Environment and Sustainability (3 cred.)

An interdisciplinary, historical analysis of the development of environmental problems, movements, and philosophies. Students apply historical lessons to critically examine sustainable solutions locally and globally.

 GEOG 120 - Introduction of Human Geography (3 cred.)

A thematic study of cultural landscapes and the processes by which people create and modify them. Topics of discussion range from ancient to modern, rural to urban, local to international, and include themes as diverse as the origins and spread of agriculture, migration and immigration, urban morphologies and social interactions, ethnicity, development and underdevelopment, and environmental concerns.

 GEOG 222 - Our Digital Earth (3 cred.)

Using primarily on-line data and sources of maps, aerial photographs and satellite images, students develop and apply understanding of basic principles and techniques of map interpretation, communication with maps, and the appropriate use and interpretation of aerial photographs and satellite images. The course emphasizes both the skilled use of these standard tools of geographic analysis and visualization and communication of data and analysis with free on-line mapping tools and location-enabled mobile phone applications.

 POLS 282 - Issues in State and Local Government (3 cred.)

Using the foundations of American Federalism, the class examines policy issues at the state and local levels. With a comparative perspective and, at the same time, with particular attention paid to Colorado, some of the themes examined in states and localities include: budgets and economic policy, education, energy, and environmental Policy. Prerequisite: recommended POLS 180.

 ROE 230 - Interpretation of Natural and Culture History (3 cred.)

A study of the principles, philosophies, and practices of interpretation, as well as active approaches to describing, relating, displaying, and revealing resources to a variety of audiences, primarily through observation and involvement in a variety of interpretation programs. Prerequisites: BIOL 130, BIOL 150, BIOL 151 or GEOL 101.

 ROE 235 - Foundation of Teaching Environment Education (3 cred.)

A survey of environmental education examples from land management agencies, nature centers, and educational organizations. Students are guided to create their own curriculum employing environmental content. Field trips required.

Faculty & Staff


Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of History
Phone: 970.943.7128
Office Location: Kelley Hall 225


Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit our scholarships page.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Field Experience: Seniors travel to historical locations, such as the Sand Creek Massacre and Bent’s Old Fort national historical sites to study the role of commemoration and memory.
  • History Honor Society: Join Iota Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, one of Western’s oldest academic honor societies.
  • History League: Sponsors activities including a book club and catapult construction. 
  • Internships: Land an internship with the Crested Butte Heritage Museum.
  • Study Abroad: Travel to India, Ecuador, Prague, London, Italy or Belize through Extended Studies.